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A really good compilation, with one flaw - 90%

MrMatt, May 6th, 2007

To begin the review, I’m sure a first time reader is familiar with Katatonia, and has heard some of their material before. The band needs no real introduction, as they are a very important aspect to the Doom Metal scene. However, there is very little Doom on this release, and more Progressive Metal and Atmospheric Rock songs present. The compilation grabs material from the “Teargas” and “Tonight’s Music” EPs and four albums since the legendary “Brave Murder Day”. The packaging is superior. The 3 Discs (there is a live DVD too) are stored in sleeves placed inside the box with a lyric booklet. Each sleeve has the song titles and song orders listed behind it. The box itself is fully colored, and easy to open.

The live DVD itself is a real treat, as it was the band’s first release of anything live at the time. The sound is great; every instrument can be heard properly. The live show itself though, lacks in a few areas. Jonas has no energy, despite putting on an excellent vocal performance. Perhaps it has to do with the type of music that Katatonia writes, but either way, it’s a great watch.

The musical content itself really doesn’t need any reviews. Most of the songs have been released before on the four previous albums and the two EPs. There is only one new song present, that being “Wait Outside”. While it is a great song, it is understandable why it wouldn’t fit on “Viva Emptiness”. It is a bit more similar to their older works, and not having too much of a Depressive Rock sound. The track flow is really good, so it fits in well with the rest of the material here.

The only problem with this release is the fact that most of the songs have been grabbed from older releases and only offering one new song. The DVD itself could have made a single release, but was compiled in here. I’m not sure how many fans would be willing to pay almost 45 dollars (Canadian) for this like I did only to get one new song that could be downloaded and a live DVD that most metal fans will only watch once. I’m really satisfied with the compilation, because I don’t own any of Katatonia’s four past releases. This is and isn’t a great introduction to the band at the same time, depending on how you actually own by Katatonia already.

Overall, it is a grand compilation, and could be recommended to those who don’t have much of Katatonia’s middle-era material.